Toyota Avensis (2009 - 2015)

4
reviewed by Anonymous on 29 September 2021
1
reviewed by Anonymous on 28 July 2021
4
reviewed by Anonymous on 23 July 2021
5
reviewed by Anonymous on 22 July 2021
5
reviewed by Keith Stanyer on 8 March 2021
4
reviewed by Anonymous on 9 December 2019
5
reviewed by Anonymous on 25 November 2018
5
reviewed by Roger Willis on 25 July 2017
4
reviewed by Mr D Og on 26 February 2017
2
reviewed by John501 on 24 August 2016
5
reviewed by T44RXX on 16 June 2016
4
reviewed by dannydan on 16 February 2016
5
reviewed by maddog23 on 10 February 2016
4
reviewed by steelghost on 21 August 2015
4
reviewed by AngryJonny on 24 October 2014
1

TR 1.8 V-matic M-driveS 4dr Auto Saloon

reviewed by Lochinvar65 on 26 July 2014
1
Overall rating
1
How it drives
4
Fuel economy
4
Tax/Insurance/Warranty costs
4
Cost of maintenance and repairs
2
Experience at the dealership
3
How practical it is
2
How you rate the manufacturer
3
Overall reliability

The worst modern car I have ever driven

To start with the positives, this car has an attractive dashboard, the sat nav works very well and it's a good motorway car, as the CVT transmission brings the revs down to 2000 at the legal limit. It's also efficient - I'm getting almost 40mpg which includes a daily 20 mile round trip in rush hour city traffic. Unlike my previous three big Toyotas, this one handles very tidily, although I would willingly sacrifice this attribute in return for a better ride; even with the tyres inflated to the recommended pressure the car rides as if it has concrete boots, provoking bitter complaints from my non-driver wife who has never commented before on the way any of our previous cars rode. She now travels in the back seat, which is more comfortably-shaped than the front seat and where the poor ride is less noticeable. I must say I find the driver's seat OK though, and for a large-ish car it's very easy to judge the size when driving on narrow roads and when parking in tight gaps.

What is diapppointing is the poor fit and finish - the paint scratches at the slightest provocation and the back bumper is still not properly fitted, despite two different dealers having a go; my previous Carina Es and Camry felt far better made. The brakes are weak and unprogressive. The absolute worst feature of this car though is the Multidrive S transmission. Whilst it works well at modest speeds on flat roads, it displays an infuriating characteristic when descending hills of all gradients - applying even the gentlest of check braking to stop the car running away, or if the car in front starts to slow, results in early, excessive, disproportionate engine braking, which is also totally inconsistent on my daily commuting route. Occasionally it doesn't happen at all, sometimes it increases revs to 2000-2500, but worst of all it will sometimes decide that 3250rpm is appropriate when check braking on a fairly modest gradient at 30 mph or less. I could understand it if it had detected an emergency stop from 80mph, but around town it is completely unnecessary. This 'feature,' which two separate dealers assure me is quite normal, makes me really hate this car, as it makes smooth, quiet driving impossible. If you just want to operate a car you won't mind, but if you care about driving smoothly this is not the transmission for you. The other characteristic, which I am assured is normal, is that the car often holds onto the high revs even when the gas is reapplied. I am aware of how a CVT transmission works, but this is so inconsistent that I feel the transmission is faulty. Toyota dealers disagree though. The Multidrive S transmission is the automotive equivalent of predictive texting - it decides what's good for you and then gives it to you whether you want it or not. The only way I have found to mitigate it when it starts revving its head off is to pull the change up lever on the steering wheel and hold it for a second or so - this flicks rapidly from auto to manual mode and back to auto, fooling the transmission and resetting the revs. The full manual mode is no help, as it will only allow you to select a lower ratio than the car considers proper - it will never allow you to change up and kill the revs until you are travelling at the road speed it, not you, considers appropriate for the next ratio. As for the'sport' button, forget it - it makes the car undriveable as it just revs and revs. Horrid, horrid transmission.

I bought this at just under two years old, intending to keep it for three or four years - no chance. As soon as I can trade it on without taking too big a hit I shall do so. I would strongly recommend that if you are thinking of buying an Avensis with this transmission, take it on a LONG test drive first, which includes a variety of downhill gradients. Earlier this week I had the day from hell at work, and as luck would have it the car was particularly unpleasant on the way home that evening - I very nearly had a Basil Fawlty moment, and had to restrain myself from just pulling over and kicking lumps out of it, it was that vile to drive.

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4
reviewed by TR7 on 14 June 2014
2
reviewed by Jeremy 123 on 19 December 2013
5
reviewed by gedward on 18 March 2013
5
reviewed by maddog23 on 2 July 2012
4
reviewed by mudhutter on 7 July 2011

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About this car

Price£17,700–£29,495
Road TaxC–H
MPG40.9–62.8 mpg
Real MPG81.8%

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